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Kids' OD Risk Rises When Opioids Left Out at Home

Posted 14 hours ago by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Feb. 20, 2017 – A child's risk of a potentially fatal drug overdose more than doubles if a parent brings home a prescription opioid painkiller like oxycodone, codeine or morphine, a new study reports. When their mother is prescribed an opioid for pain as opposed to a non-narcotic drug like aspirin, ibuprofen or acetaminophen, young children are about two-and-a-half times more likely to accidentally overdose, the researchers found. "The opioid epidemic has not skipped children," said Dr. Yaron Finkelstein, a pediatric emergency doctor with the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto. "They are also vulnerable to it, even as a third party or innocent bystander." Finkelstein is lead researcher on the study, published online Feb. 20 in Pediatrics. Another study in the journal helps explain the source of some of this risk. Nearly 70 percent of prescription opioids in homes with ... Read more

Related support groups: Pain, Suboxone, Oxycodone, Back Pain, Hydrocodone, Methadone, Percocet, Tramadol, OxyContin, Vicodin, Norco, Fentanyl, Opiate Dependence, Morphine, Aspirin, Codeine, Lortab, Chronic Pain, Opana, Ibuprofen

Anti-Addiction Meds Given in ER Can Help Battle Abuse

Posted 1 day 13 hours ago by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Feb. 17, 2017 – People addicted to opioids treated in a hospital emergency department do better when they receive medication to reduce opioid cravings, researchers report. "The ED [emergency department] visit is an ideal opportunity to identify patients with opioid use disorder and initiate treatment and direct referral, similar to best practices for other diseases, such as high blood pressure and diabetes," said study co-leader Dr. Gail D'Onofrio in a Yale University news release. D'Onofrio is chair of emergency medicine at the university. The study looked at 290 people addicted to opioids who went to an emergency department. They received one of three treatments: a referral to addiction treatment services; a short interview including discussion of treatment; or a brief interview and the medication buprenorphine. The patients given medication also continued treatment with ... Read more

Related support groups: Suboxone, Oxycodone, Hydrocodone, Methadone, Percocet, Tramadol, OxyContin, Vicodin, Norco, Fentanyl, Opiate Dependence, Morphine, Codeine, Lortab, Opiate Withdrawal, Opana, Subutex, Dilaudid, Opana ER, Roxicodone

Chronic Pain More Likely for Poor, Less Educated: Study

Posted 3 days ago by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Feb. 17, 2017 – Chronic pain is much more common among poor, less educated older Americans than their wealthier, more educated peers, a new study suggests. "I found that people with lower levels of education and wealth don't just have more pain, they also have more severe pain," said study author Hanna Grol-Prokopczyk. She's an assistant professor of sociology from the University at Buffalo in Buffalo, N.Y. "I also looked at pain-related disability, meaning that pain is interfering with the ability to do normal work or household activities. And again, people with less wealth and education are more likely to experience this disability," she added in a university news release. In the analysis of 12 years of data from more than 19,000 people aged 51 and older, those with the least education were 80 percent more likely to have chronic pain than those with the most education. People ... Read more

Related support groups: Pain, Suboxone, Oxycodone, Back Pain, Hydrocodone, Methadone, Percocet, Tramadol, OxyContin, Vicodin, Norco, Fentanyl, Morphine, Codeine, Lortab, Chronic Pain, Opana, Ibuprofen, Naproxen, Subutex

Some Docs May Help Fuel Opioid Abuse Epidemic

Posted 5 days ago by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 15, 2017 – You may be more likely to wind up a long-term user of opioid painkillers if you're treated by a doctor who frequently prescribes those drugs, a new study reports. Emergency room patients are at greater risk for long-term opioid use even after a single prescription from an ER doctor who regularly prescribes the painkillers, researchers found. "If a patient happened to see a high opioid-prescribing doctor, their chance of getting an opioid is over three times higher," said study author Dr. Michael Barnett. He's an assistant professor of health policy and management at the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston. "Patients who are treated by frequent prescribers also are 30 percent more likely to develop long-term use over the next year," Barnett continued. One out of every 48 people newly prescribed an opioid will become a long-term user, based on ... Read more

Related support groups: Oxycodone, Hydrocodone, Methadone, Percocet, Tramadol, OxyContin, Vicodin, Norco, Fentanyl, Opiate Dependence, Morphine, Codeine, Lortab, Opiate Withdrawal, Opana, Subutex, Dilaudid, Opana ER, Roxicodone, MS Contin

Try Drug-Free Options First for Low Back Pain, New Guidelines Say

Posted 7 days ago by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Feb. 13, 2017 – People with low back pain should try drug-free remedies – from simple heat wraps to physical therapy – before resorting to medication, according to new treatment guidelines. Low back pain is among the most common reasons that Americans visit the doctor, according to the American College of Physicians (ACP), which released the new guidelines on Monday. The recommendations put more emphasis on nondrug therapies than previous ones have. They stress that powerful opioid painkillers – such as OxyContin and Vicodin – should be used only as a last resort in some cases of long-lasting back pain. Another change: When medication is needed, acetaminophen (Tylenol) is no longer recommended. Recent research has shown it's not effective for low back pain, said Dr. Nitin Damle, president of the ACP. The good news, according to Damle, is that most people with shorter-term ... Read more

Related support groups: Oxycodone, Back Pain, Hydrocodone, Methadone, Cymbalta, Tramadol, OxyContin, Fentanyl, Morphine, Codeine, Opana, Ibuprofen, Naproxen, Subutex, Dilaudid, Meloxicam, Opana ER, Advil, Sciatica, Diclofenac

Many Seniors Take Multiple Meds That Can Affect the Brain

Posted 7 days ago by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Feb. 13, 2017 – There has been a sharp rise in the number of American seniors who take three or more medications that affect their brains, a new study reveals. The study looked at seniors' use of opioid painkillers, antidepressants, tranquilizers and antipsychotic drugs. A review of U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data showed that the use of these drugs in people over 65 more than doubled from 2004 to 2013. The researchers estimated that approximately 3.7 million doctor visits a year are by seniors taking three or more of these drugs. The largest increase was seen among seniors in rural areas. There, the use of these drugs more than tripled. The spike in the combined use of drugs that act on the central nervous system is cause for concern because it can lead to falls and resulting injuries, affect driving ability, and cause memory and thinking problems, the ... Read more

Related support groups: Xanax, Oxycodone, Lexapro, Zoloft, Hydrocodone, Methadone, Wellbutrin, Cymbalta, Tramadol, OxyContin, Effexor, Prozac, Fentanyl, Seroquel, Celexa, Morphine, Citalopram, Paxil, Valium, Codeine

Opioids and Alcohol a Dangerous Cocktail

Posted 12 days ago by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 8, 2017 – Drinking alcohol while taking powerful opioid painkillers can trigger a potentially deadly respiratory problem, particularly in seniors, a new study warns. "Unfortunately, we're seeing more fatalities and people in emergency rooms after having misused or abused legally prescribed opioids, like oxycodone, while having consumed alcohol," said study author Dr. Albert Dahan. "Respiratory depression [where breathing becomes very shallow or stops temporarily] is a potentially fatal complication of opioid use. We found alcohol exacerbated the already harmful respiratory effects of opioids," Dahan said. Dahan is head of the Anesthesia and Pain Research Unit at Leiden University Medical Center in the Netherlands. In the study, the researchers assessed how mixing the opioid painkiller oxycodone and alcohol affected 12 younger volunteers, aged 21 to 28, and 12 older ... Read more

Related support groups: Pain, Oxycodone, Back Pain, Hydrocodone, Methadone, Percocet, Tramadol, OxyContin, Fentanyl, Opiate Dependence, Morphine, Codeine, Opiate Withdrawal, Chronic Pain, Opana, Subutex, Dilaudid, Opana ER, Roxicodone, MS Contin

Opioid Overdoses Burdens U.S. Hospitals: Report

Posted 15 Dec 2016 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Dec. 15, 2016 – Hospital admissions related to overdoses from heroin and other opioids rose 64 percent in the United States between 2005 and 2014, a government report shows. As misuse of prescription painkillers and street opioids climbed nationwide, related hospital stays jumped from 137 per 100,000 people to 225 per 100,000 in that decade, researchers found. However, there was wide variation between states, according to the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality report. "These new data provide vital insights into the trends that are shaping one of the nation's most pressing health challenges," agency director Dr. Andy Bindman said in an agency news release. "With updated information about state and regional variations in opioid-related hospital care, we're increasing our potential to develop effective strategies to tackle the crisis," Bindman said. States where ... Read more

Related support groups: Oxycodone, Hydrocodone, Methadone, Tramadol, OxyContin, Vicodin, Fentanyl, Opiate Dependence, Morphine, Codeine, Opiate Withdrawal, Opana, Subutex, Dilaudid, Opana ER, Roxicodone, MS Contin, Drug Dependence, Butrans, Ultram

What You Need to Know When Prescribed an Opioid Painkiller

Posted 13 Dec 2016 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Dec. 12, 2016 – There are a number of questions you should ask if a doctor or other health care provider prescribes opioid painkillers such as Oxycontin, Vicodin, codeine and morphine, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration says. While approved to treat certain kinds of acute and chronic pain, opioids can have serious side effects, and the United States is in the mist of an opioid overuse epidemic. First, ask why you need the medication, is it right for you, and are there non-opioid options? If your health care provider thinks an opioid painkiller is the best choice, ask the doctor to prescribe the lowest dose and the smallest quantity. Find out when to call to follow-up with the health care provider on how well the opioid is working, as well as when and how to stop or taper off use of the drug, the FDA said in a news release. To reduce the risk of side effects, take the ... Read more

Related support groups: Pain, Suboxone, Oxycodone, Back Pain, Hydrocodone, Methadone, Percocet, Tramadol, OxyContin, Vicodin, Norco, Fentanyl, Morphine, Codeine, Lortab, Chronic Pain, Opana, Subutex, Dilaudid, Opana ER

Alzheimer's Patients' Use of Painkilling Patches Cause for Concern

Posted 9 Dec 2016 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Dec. 8, 2016 – Long-term use of powerful opioid painkillers may be common among Alzheimer's disease patients and could be a cause for concern, researchers report. Researchers analyzed data from more than 67,000 Alzheimer's disease patients in Finland. They found that 7 percent had used opioids for more than six months for non-cancer pain relief. One-third of patients who began using opioids became long-term users, and researchers found a strong link between opioid skin patches and long-term use. While rates of long-term opioid use was about the same as in the general population, long-term use of skin patches was twice as common among Alzheimer's patients, the study showed. People in the general population more often took pills. The University of Eastern Finland researchers also found that long-term opioid use together with benzodiazepines was common. They said the finding is ... Read more

Related support groups: Pain, Xanax, Oxycodone, Hydrocodone, Methadone, Tramadol, OxyContin, Klonopin, Fentanyl, Clonazepam, Opiate Dependence, Morphine, Ativan, Valium, Codeine, Chronic Pain, Opana, Lorazepam, Alprazolam, Subutex

Electronic In-Hospital Prescribing: Trouble for Older Adults?

Posted 29 Nov 2016 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Nov. 29, 2016 – Preprogrammed doses of medications that can raise the risk of falls are often set too high for older hospital patients, new research shows. In the study, doctors looked at the records of 287 patients over the age of 65 who fell while staying in a large urban hospital. Some patients fell more than once, adding to a total of 328 falls in the study. Of those falls, 62 percent occurred in patients who had been given at least one high-risk medication in the 24 hours before their fall. Of that 62 percent, 16 percent had been given two high-risk medicines, while another 16 percent had been given three or more. And 41 percent of the medications studied were electronically set at doses that were greater than recommended for older patients. The 29 medicines examined included opioid painkillers such as OxyContin and Percocet, sleeping pills, muscle relaxants and ... Read more

Related support groups: Xanax, Oxycodone, Hydrocodone, Methadone, Percocet, Tramadol, OxyContin, Klonopin, Fentanyl, Clonazepam, Morphine, Ativan, Ambien, Valium, Codeine, Opana, Lorazepam, Alprazolam, Subutex, Dilaudid

Opioids No Better Than Ibuprofen for Pain After Car Crash: Study

Posted 28 Nov 2016 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Nov. 28, 2016 – For treating persistent pain after a car crash, prescription opioid painkillers such as oxycodone (Oxycontin) are no more effective than nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID) like ibuprofen, a new study finds. "You'd think there would be a wealth of studies comparing our 'go-to' pain meds, but there just aren't," said study lead author Dr. Francesca Beaudoin. She's an assistant professor of emergency medicine at Brown University's Warren Alpert School of Medicine and an emergency room doctor at Rhode Island Hospital. "Now that opioids are under fire, it's forcing us to ask: 'What is the best treatment, who is it best for and under what conditions?' " Beaudoin said in a university news release. "As an emergency physician, I prescribe these drugs all the time. Does what I am giving to people have any impact on the pain outcomes that matter to them?" she ... Read more

Related support groups: Pain, Oxycodone, Hydrocodone, Methadone, Percocet, Tramadol, OxyContin, Fentanyl, Morphine, Codeine, Opana, Ibuprofen, Subutex, Dilaudid, Opana ER, Advil, Roxicodone, MS Contin, Butrans, Ultram

These Medicines Often Send Americans to ERs

Posted 22 Nov 2016 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Nov. 22, 2016 – An estimated one in 250 Americans lands in the hospital emergency department each year because of a medication-related reaction or problem, a new federal study finds. Among adults 65 and older, the rate is about one in 100, the study authors said. Remarkably, the medicines causing the most trouble haven't changed in a decade, the researchers noted. Blood thinners, diabetes medicines and antibiotics top the list. These drugs accounted for 47 percent of emergency department visits for adverse drug events in 2013 and 2014, according to the analysis. Among older adults, blood thinners, diabetes medicines and opioid painkillers are implicated in nearly 60 percent of emergency department visits for adverse drug events. "The same drugs are causing the most problems," said study co-author Dr. Daniel Budnitz. The study doesn't tease out what went wrong. The reasons ... Read more

Related support groups: Pain, Suboxone, Oxycodone, Diabetes, Type 2, Back Pain, Hydrocodone, Methadone, Percocet, Tramadol, OxyContin, Vicodin, Norco, Fentanyl, Morphine, Codeine, Lortab, Opana, Warfarin, Coumadin, Subutex

Opioid Overdoses Up Nearly 200 Percent Among Kids, Teens

Posted 31 Oct 2016 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Oct. 31, 2016 – The number of young children and teens hospitalized for overdosing on opioid painkillers has spiked nearly 200 percent in recent years, a new study finds. Among children under 10, most of the painkiller poisonings were accidental, with children "eating them like candy," said lead researcher Julie Gaither, a postdoctoral fellow in biostatistics at the Yale School of Medicine in New Haven, Conn. Among teens, most were accidental overdoses, although some were suicide attempts. In both age groups, the increase in cases involving painkillers like OxyContin, Percocet and Vicodin was dramatic. Among children aged 1 to 4 years, the number of poisonings went up 205 percent from 1997 to 2012. For teens 15 to 19, the increase was 176 percent. Overall, the study showed a 165 percent increase in poisonings from opioid painkillers among those 19 and younger. In addition, ... Read more

Related support groups: Suboxone, Oxycodone, Hydrocodone, Methadone, Percocet, Tramadol, OxyContin, Vicodin, Norco, Fentanyl, Opiate Dependence, Morphine, Codeine, Lortab, Opiate Withdrawal, Opana, Subutex, Dilaudid, Opana ER, Roxicodone

Many Take Opioids Reluctantly for Back Pain: Survey

Posted 24 Oct 2016 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Oct. 24, 2016 – Millions of Americans with back pain take powerful and potentially addictive opioid painkillers. But in a new survey, many say the drugs provide only limited relief and they worry about taking them. The survey included more than 2,000 people with low back pain. Of the nearly half who were currently taking opioids, only 13 percent said the drugs were very successful at relieving their pain. Forty-four percent said the drugs were somewhat successful, 31 percent said they were moderately successful and 12 percent said they were unsuccessful. Seventy-five percent said the drugs had side effects such as constipation (65 percent), sleepiness (37 percent), thinking and memory problems (32 percent) and drug dependence (29 percent). "Patients are increasingly aware that opioids are problematic, but don't know there are alternative treatment options," said survey author ... Read more

Related support groups: Pain, Suboxone, Oxycodone, Back Pain, Hydrocodone, Methadone, Percocet, Tramadol, OxyContin, Vicodin, Norco, Fentanyl, Morphine, Codeine, Lortab, Chronic Pain, Opana, Subutex, Dilaudid, Opana ER

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